007 One by One – Goldfinger

Bullz-Eye continues its look back at every James Bond film, 007 One by One, as part of our James Bond Fan Hub that we’ve created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Bond film.

The third Bond film is more than one of the most enduringly popular movies in the series and the final template for James Bond movies from that point forward. In many respects, it actually set the pattern for actions films in general. It was also perhaps the first modern-day blockbuster in that it was intended as an event as well a movie — complete with mega-bucks generating merchandizing opportunities. Sadly, it’s also the first movie in the series that Bond’s 56 year-old creator, Ian Fleming, didn’t live to see completed. He could not have conceived of how insanely popular his creation would become within months of his passing.

“Goldfinger” (1963)

The Plot

007 locks deadly horns with a mysterious millionaire known for cheating at gin rummy, golf, and the exportation of gold. That naturally turns out to be only the tip of the iceberg as James Bond discovers a diabolical plan aimed at destroying the economy of the free world and making portly Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) the world’s richest man. The aptly named, gold-obsessed supervillain’s target is, of course, Fort Knox.

The Backstory

With the back-to-back success of “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love,” the money conscious EON producing team of Harry Saltzman and Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli were ready to spend what was actually pretty big money in early 1960′s movie production terms — $3 million! (The 2008 Bond entry, “Quantum of Solace,” had a reported production budget of $200 million.)

Dashing director Terrence Young, who had launched the series so ably with “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love,” smelled the cash and held out for more money. True to form, EON decided to go with a more thrifty option and brought in an accomplished journeyman director who was, nevertheless, a new hand when it came to staging elaborate action scenes, Guy Hamilton.

American writer Richard Maibum was back on board, this time with an assist from British screenwriter Paul Dehn. A very probable inspiration for the dashing English spy played by Michael Fassbender in “Inglourious Basterds,” Dehn was a former film critic and admitted World War II assassin. His next gig was, ironically, helping to adapt John le Carré’s specifically anti-Bondian espionage classic, “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.”

Most importantly to the financial bottom line, Sean Connery had made himself synonymous with 007 and was also on board for another go round, though he wouldn’t appear on set until he finished off his highly dramatic starring role in Alfred Hithcock’s “Marnie.” Connery was starting to worry a little about this whole business of being typecast as a veritable superhero; he would continue to go out of his way to remind the public he could be someone other than Bond.

In any case, everyone working on the film seems to have understood what kind of opportunity “Goldfinger” represented. That bigger budget meant one thing: more — more action, more gadgets, more violence, and an extremely fast pace by the standards of its day. It was just the kind of wretched excess that could lead to a film so enormous it could launch what has to be the longest lasting and most consistently successful franchise in movie history.

The Bond Girls (Rule of 3 + 2)

Bond keeps to his usual score of three sex partners per movie. However, as befits the more lavish “Goldfinger,” we actually have five legitimate “Bond girls” this go-round. It’s just that Bond respectfully keeps his hands off of one and apparently never quite reaches home plate with another. To be specific…

Bonita (Nadia Regan) — She gets kissed while naked at the end of the pre-credit sequence, but it appears that actually doing the deed with Bond was never in the treacherous beauty’s plans, and she ends up with only a nasty bump on the head for her trouble. The adorable, Serbian-born Nadia Regan was actually on her second Bond go-round, having played a very brief kittenish role in the just-prior, “From Russia With Love,” where she was the Turkish secretary/girlfriend of Ali Kerim Bey (Pedro Armendariz.)

Dink (Margaret Nolan) – This lovely bathing beauty and amateur masseuse appears to be Bond’s very temporary girlfriend during his very short vacation at Miami Beach’s ultra-lux Fontainebleau Hotel. In true super-sexist style, he dismisses her with jovial rudeness and a smart smack to the backside when his American colleague shows up. Actress and model Margaret Nolan would go on to appear in a Playboy pictorial and several entries in the “Carry On” series of British sex comedies.

Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) – Bond wastes little time in seducing the bikini clad Masterson, who has unwisely taken a job helping a certain highly suspicious gold broker cheat at gin rummy. The superspy clearly takes a liking to the spunky, frankly sexual Masterson. He is devastated when he wakes up from a clubbing-induced slumber to find her suffocated to death by being painted completely gold from head to foot. It’s a tragic death, but it gave the movie its poster and one of the most creepily memorable and iconic images in the Bond lexicon. Shirley Eaton, already a busy working actress in the British film industry, would go on to star in a number of mostly not-so-distinguished films before retiring in favor of motherhood in 1969. She came out of retirement three decades later with a memoir, Golden Girl.

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Drink of the Week: The Scotchsicle

The Glenrothes ScotchsiclePreviously on DOTW, we discussed the phenomenon of the manufacturers of theoretically mixing-unfriendly single malt scotches promoting actual cocktails made with their brands. Still, while last week’s choice was traditionalist and severe enough for the most exacting cocktail classicist or even, perhaps, some Scotch purists, this drink is sweet. Very sweet.

In a way it’s fitting because the brand that’s promoting the Scotchsicle, the Glenrothes, is not only blessed by a marketing department ingenious enough to send me a bottle, but a kinder, gentler, sweeter sort of brew than most other Scotches of my acquaintance. The smooth, critically acclaimed liquor is actually more to my own slightly sweet-leaning personal taste than most Scotches when served on the rocks or with a bit of water or soda.

For those who like their sweetness on steroids, however, the Glenrothes have provided us with another way to go. I doubt Sean Connery, Groundskeeper Willie and some cocktail fanatics I can think of would approve, but those with big, big sweet tooth’s just might. It’s definitely a drink you have for dessert.

The Scotchsicle

2 ounces Scotch whisky (preferably the Glenrothes, naturally)
1 ounce triple sec
3/4 of an ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
3/4 of an ounce vanilla syrup
Cinnamon powder (garnish, very highly recommended)

Combine Scotch, triple sec, orange juice and vanilla syrup in a shaker with plentiful ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass. Top with a fairly generous sprinkling of cinnamon powder and prepare for the boozy sugar rush.

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A few words about ingredients. I used inexpensive Bols triple sec for my Scotchsicle, but feel free to experiment with a more high end product like Combier, suggested in the Glenrothes’ original recipe, or perhaps Cointreau. I suspect it’ll be an improvement. As for the vanilla syrup, you can use the Torani or Monin vanilla syrups that are standard in coffee houses as well as some bars. However, if you want to save a few bucks, you can simply combine 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of superfine sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract — or, if you really want to get fancy I understand half of an actual ground vanilla bean will work — to make roughly a cup of syrup, which you can refrigerate and use at will. (Whatever you don’t use, you can then combine with soda water to make your own home-made cream soda.)

Finally, don’t forget the cinnamon sprinkling. As if I haven’t emphasized this enough, this is a very sweet drink and a healthy sprinkling of cinnamon is essential to take the edge off. If you want to take the edge off a bit further, you can do what I tried and add 1-3 dashes of some orange bitters.

  

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